Extracts from my diary while making the Brian Clough & Peter Taylor Monument
Wendy Dickinson said yesterday “I hope it's not just a memorial to two football greats but also a tribute to two fathers” . . . and of course in a sense we are all doing it for 'Our Dad' as Nigel refers to his Father.
I heard on the radio today “A third statue of Clough will be put up in Derby, but this time with another for PT.” That makes it sound we will have 2 separate statues, but I don't think it is right to think of if this way, our desire is not for TWO STATUES but for ONE statue of the TWO great men.
This tribute should sensitively and physically reunite Brian and Peter, marking there reunion as spirits and the way that they should always be remembered - friends. I would like to see them sharing joy through touch, perhaps through sharing either a joke, a trophy or a conversation. Maybe it would be too crass and unnecessary to have them shaking hands or even hugging but it would certainly provoke an emotional reaction in anyone who saw such a monument and knew the story. If there exists a photo or film sequence which justifies this - maybe congratulating each other after a win or a goal then maybe we are onto something which is worth exploring - aiming for something that is firstly all about emotion.
With regard to our design, I was watching the documentary screened 25th March and 53 seconds in, there is brief footage of PT with his left arm around BC while BC claps. Its not exactly the perfect design for our monument but it shows how many moments of warm physical contact between the two friends that we must present. A central gesture of warm friendship will introduce the important ideas of reconciliation and fatherhood.
9ft as a size for the figures would be one and a half times lifesize (or monumental scale as the Victorians called it) and it would be majestic. I would not consider dwarfing these giants with anything less than that and want to see them high on a pedestal as well.
I’ve started to realize that they definitely need to be looking smart and business like...the Nottingham Cloughie statue by Les Johnson I am very fond of and admiring of. It depicts him towards the end of his career and is authentically very informal and as fabulous likeness that it is, it feels a little lonely and isolated which I don’t like to think about at all. The Derby monument will be the TOP of his career WITH TAYLOR.
The photo of BC and PT holding the 'lady' Football League Trophy in 1972 is a real inspiration - a terrific actual piece of history. The more I think about the standing composition with the lady the more I like it. I’d really like to think that if the families would compare the dedicating of a statue to receiving any other honour, medal or title they would want to see both men looking smart as possible. They were of course famous for 'work' clothes that go with the ‘work attitude’ - trackie bottoms and sweatshirts, (they were the first real ‘young men’ of football management, but they would not go to meet the Queen in casuals.
PT and BC are men that have earned their respect and status alongside statesman and other kinds of leaders and should be shown as equals to these.
We musn't forget though that these are working class men with normal families. To be elevated as proper formal statues must feel great to them and being honoured in this way - in suits and standing is very dignified and suitably grand. The key to the success of this design would be exhaustive detail - every crease and element including the medal box PT is holding on Brian's shoulder. The lady atop of the trophy from which it got its name, the ribbons on it. The ties that they are wearing, Brian’s is one of those that came with a matching shirt, Peter’s is on of Dave Mackay’s, wafting in the wind. The Ram on PTs blazer facing the opposite way to those on his tie, the parker pen in his pocket. Beautiful details with stories of their own.....get it absolutely perfect as if it was that day at the BBG all over again, when the crowds saw them parade the trophy.
The Football League Championship Trophy was the top trophy and the hardest to win, also represented their bread and butter.
These men also the perfect illustrations of other great philosophers' words, ideals and prophecies which could be inscribed below the figures - quotes from every culture - what a message that would be! And what better and more appropriate message could there be for our statue than this:
"Friend, if you possess some good, let us be friends,
Let us be partners for doing good,
And let us ignore each other's flaws".
(This quote was superceeded by the circle of words which we as a committee chose between us as being both associated with the two men in their speech and at the same time representing their values – and capable of being understood in any language: Unity; Solidarity; Harmony etc.)
This is perhaps my favourite story and its from Duncan Hamilton, the journalist who also wrote Provided you don't Kiss Me,
On a Friday he had a habit of writing out his team sheet to the accompaniment of a Frank Sinatra record. A 'gramophone player’ (he never referred to a 'record’ or 'tape deck’) sat on the low glass-fronted bookcase in his office. A drawing of Sinatra hung on the wall. He would sometimes spend a long time hunting for his reading glasses before beginning the painstaking process of putting down each name in large capital letters.
'You know,’ he said one day, handing me the team sheet, 'I’d love all of us to play football the way Frank Sinatra sings… all that richness in the sound, and every word perfect. How gorgeous would that be?’
His face glowed like a fire, and he began to sing along with Sinatra, always a word ahead of him, as if he needed to prove that he knew the lyrics.
'I’ve got you… under my skin…’ He rose from his chair, still singing and began to pretend he was dancing with his wife. When the song finished, he laughed until tears ran down his cheeks. He fell back into his chair, arms and legs splayed.
The gentle smile looked as if it might stay on his face for ever.